Central Asia between the US, Russia, China and Iran
Tehran is considering an opportunity for joining the Eurasian Economic Union, Ali Najaf Hoshrudi, the Ambassador of Iran to Kyrgyzstan, said. According to the Iranian diplomat, Iran is negotiating on cooperation with the EAEU. It also intends to extend cooperation with the republics of Central Asia. Tehran believes that transport infrastructure and cooperation in the banking sphere with the Central Asian countries are the most promising and priority directions.
Such developments seem quite realistic, considering views by experts who say that the US is gradually leaving Central Asia. Vladimir Yevseyev, the head of the Eurasian Integration and SCO Development Department of the CIS Countries Institute, is one such expert. “At the end of 2015, first Japanese Premier Abe visited the countries of Central Asia, and then US Secretary of the State John Kerry did the same. The US is reducing its presence and trying to shift the function to other countries, primarily to Japan. The Americans don’t want to invest. And that’s why Japan’s desire to refine gas in Turkmenistan satisfies the United States, because it is thought that Japan will provide American national interests there,” Yevseyev says.
According to him, the shift of some obligations to the US partners is typical for it in the Middle East: “This is a new trend. I believe that under the next US administration the trend won’t disappear,” the expert thinks.
In these conditions, he says, the responsibility of Russia and China for stability in the Central Asian countries will grow. “The US can promise a lot to various leaders, but when real destabilization starts, I am pretty sure that the only state which will be able to help in the military sphere is Russia. From this point of view, leaders of the Central Asian countries have to stop being torn between Russia and the US or Russia and China and make decisions which would provide internal stability for their own countries. In the conditions of a power shift, internal stability will be highly important to provide preservation of the states' integrity,” Yevseyev is sure.